My dearest familia y amigos,
Hola! I hope everything is going well with you. Wow! What a week. Week 8 as a missionary. Let me tell you all about it!
I had a baptism this week! Her name is "I" and she's is 81 years old and converted from Judaism. She's from Peru but speaks great English. We didn't teach her much because another ward was teaching her, but then they realized she lived in our ward, so we got her two weeks before her baptism. She was SO excited to be baptized. She reminds me a lot of Grandma, so it's really easy to love her. The service was great--the Spirit was really strong. We're teaching another great girl, "G", who is in her early 20s. She is golden! She's going to be baptized on the 18th of this month. I'm really excited for her!
This week I've been really striving to work with exact obedience. It's been hard, especially with the times to be in/out of bed and studying. But I was working hard to be obedient, and let me tell you about the blessings I saw from it! We went to contact a lot of our referrals that we've been trying to get a hold of but have failed. I had faith that we were going to be able to talk to them. Out of the 5 or 6 we visited, we talked to all of them except 1! What a miracle! I am now determined to be 100% obedient.
Let me tell you about an experience that I had this week. I had my first drop/bible basher (people who try to disprove everything we teach with specific verses in the bible, even though we share bible verses with them that support what we say). He was a really nice man and I could tell that he was concerned for our souls. He basically told us that we should reconsider our faith so we weren't following some wrong ideas. He shared Galatians 1:8 with us (you should look at it. It made my jaw drop). We aren't visiting him anymore, but it wasn't a bad feeling meeting. It just made me have a greater desire to find the people that are ready to hear the gospel. I want to work hard and diligently!
Guess where I ate this week with a member? In N Out! I would send a picture, but I don't have my camera cord... And guess what! There are Jamba Juices in my area. Mmmmm. Oh ya.
So we've been working mostly with LA (less actives) these past few weeks. An idea! When having the missionaries over for dinner, you should always try to have a nonmember there. Let the missionaries know so they can plan for it, but I would love it if people did that for us. Our ward (to answer Mom's questions) is interesting. I don't know if they have separate Sunday schools, but they have separate gospel essential classes. The RS meet together for announcements and then they split. We usually are with the English because of our investigators (all of them are English speaking). I didn't know our ward in Maryland had a French branch dissolved into it!
So Bakersfield has nothing in it. I can't believe that I'm in the biggest city in my mission. This is SUPER rural. I'm already missing the green and moisture. But I am loving the low 80 high 70 weather we have. It's great. Doesn't feel like October, but it's really nice. Oh! Funny story. We have mountains around us, but the pollution is so bad, you can't see them very well. I didn't know they were there until my companion said something. I was so surprised! Good ol pollution.
So two more things on my list (I plan out everything I want to say so I don't waste my time). I want to talk about how my boundaries changed yesterday. Us and the Spanish elders went through our areas and set up boundaries for how to split it. Unfortunately the area they took (because they live in it) has basically all the people we have been working with, including most of the single Spanish sisters. I LOVE the single Spanish sisters. It broke my heart that we wouldn't be able to see them anymore. But.. this is sort of an answer to a prayer. So I've been praying for charity and it was good to see that I was blessed with charity. Also, I have a concern. All the Spanish people we have been working with live in that area, so I'm afraid that I won't be able to improve much on my Spanish while I'm here. But I'm supposed to be here, so I have faith that it will be okay!
Speaking of learning, real quick! I've been thinking a lot about repentance this week. Growing up, it seemed that repentance was viewed as such a bad thing, but in reality, it's a joyous thing! How great is it that we have the opportunity to be forgiven of the mistakes we make in our lives, no matter how big or small.
I love you all! I hope I can hear from you soon! I love you guys a ton! Hope you got my letters!
Love,Hermana Sami Lau